"Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil" (Mt. 4:1). You will be tempted! You have been tempted to sin and will continue to be tempted. But you don't have to fall into the temptation to sin. Why am I tempted? One of my Dominican brothers once wrote a little book with that title. One of many possible answers to that question is that Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, was tempted by the devil. Jesus' temptations are rooted in the sins of pleasure, possession and pride. The serpent tempted Eve and Adam in the same areas of human weaknesses. However, Jesus overcame his temptations while Eve and Adam fell to them.
The Temptation of Jesus puts our temptations in context. The three temptations Jesus encountered define the three basic temptations we all face: pleasure, possession, and pride. Like Jesus, we can overcome our temptations when we fight them by living a life of prayer, penance and giving. Lent allows us to practice these three biblical spiritual disciplines more intensely and intentionally. In addition, Lent calls us to metanoia, a change of heart. Then, if we are ready to return to God, we have support here in the parish this Lenten season.
The mystery of the cross will be a valuable symbol to guide us through this Lent. Do you remember the cross that was signed on your forehead on Ash Wednesday? Let us meditate around that cross. In this call to meditation on the cross, I strongly encourage you to attend the Stations of the Cross every Friday of Lent; after you eat our Fish Fry dinner, come into the church to pray. I will give a short reflection on the Five Sacred Wounds of Jesus on Fridays of Lent before or after the Stations. Be sure to attend our Thursday's Confession, Rosary, Mass and Adoration. We shall pray Liturgy of the Hours (Evening Prayers) during Adoration. Also, sign up for Hallow's 40-day Challenge. It is not too late to join. And there is more and more Lenten challenge to take on!
Marty Rotella will lead our Lenten reflection this Sunday from 7 pm through Spirit-filled music and message. You don't want to miss this faith-filled man of God. He brings healing, peace, and transformation of hearts through his Holy Spirit-led ministration. So come with your family and friends.
Fr. Bernard, OP